On the second day of his first visit to Algeria as president, Hollande said he had not come "to repent or apologize" for the brutal French colonization of the country that resulted in the deaths of thousands of people, the BBC reported Thursday.
"I recognize the suffering that colonialism inflicted on the Algerian people," he said.
The French army has been accused of using torture and conducting massacres to halt the Algerian pro-independence movement. The country gained independence in 1962.
Ten Algerian political parties have called on Hollande "to recognize, apologize for and compensate" for colonization, the BBC reported.
El Watan newspaper said doing so would "soothe memories that are still painful."